“On Faith and Marriage” is a 3 part series on how Faith and Marriage are braided together.
Life is complicated.
It doesn’t really need to be that way.
My life is hard. It sucks. I hurt. My children hurt. They ask me constantly when their father is coming home. They are so mad.
I am mad.
Not so much mad the way I was mad two months ago, when after months of his strange behaivor, that he finally admitted his affair.
My anger in the beginning was aimed at a man who I thought he was. Aimed at a man I know him to be. Not at the man he became when he decided to have an affair. The man my husband truly is would never hurt me and his family this way.
How do I know this? Why do I believe it?
I have Faith.
Something I never really had before.
Not just faith in something or faith in someone, but faith in God.
Faith in One God.
Faith in following and understanding the love and light of One God.
For those who have known me for ages, take a second and let that sink in.
For those who haven’t known me for years, take a second and understand that this is new for me.
How is it that a woman into several decades (or more. or not) of life suddenly decides that God is amazing, and that she has complete Faith in Him?
I have been on this path for several years.
Going back to my life before God, it wasn’t that I didn’t really believe in God, I just never really understood how there could only be just One God when there were so many different aspects of life that created so many other gods in cultures and civilizations around the world. My head was always filled with questions like
- What about the Egyptians?
- Or the Greeks?
- Or the Romans?
- Or the old earth religions?
- What about the male and female?
- Why didn’t God have a mate?
- Where are his Godly children and friends in his realm?
- Why isn’t there a family of Gods in Heaven?
- Why is there only one child in mortal form who walked on earth?
- How can one God be both so loving and so cruel?
- How can one God be so many things to so many people?
When I couldn’t answer any of those questions, I turned to many religions. I found random answers in bits and pieces of different religions and found a way to explain so much. I found a way to understand religion, but never had Faith in any religion.
Without Faith, who was I praying to?
I am not sure.
I often felt like my prayers went unanswered. I understand now that without Faith and a belief in something, belief in one particular someOne that my prayers had no where to go. I believed for so long that I was strong, that it was my will and faith in myself that kept me going. I had faith in my family, in my husband, and in my friends. Why did I need just One God, with One Religion to carry me through, when I wasn’t even sure what any of that meant.
Like I said before, I am not saying that I didn’t believe in something, or someone, but giving a name to this all powerful energy and clumping it into one religion and expecting them to know everything seemed ridiculous and impossible.
Then Owain was born.
And I was furious! There was no way. None. No possible way that there is any chance that this One God could allow my son to suffer. Do not even try to tell me that God does everything for a reason, or that it was meant to happen. If this is what God is, then there is no room for Him in my life. The end!
There were also so many more questions, and that made me feel like there was even less reason to Believe.
At one point my husband suggested that we have Owain baptized. There were many moments we were not sure if he would live or die. My thoughts on baptizing a newborn who was born with a broken heart just so he can make it into Heaven? I told my husband that if God was so cruel to deny an innocent newborn baby into the gates of Heaven, that I did not want my son spending eternity there. If our son were to die, and if God was real, He would take our son just the way He made him.
At this point in our marriage, my husband started turning back to his Catholic Faith. It worked for him, he enjoyed it. If it made him happy, then I was happy. It wasn’t for me and I was still pretty ticked off that somehow my child was allowed to suffer. My husband started going back to church more regularly, taking the kids sometimes, and this worked for me. I spent all week long taking care of the kids, running around to all sorts of doctor and peds cardiology appointments, homeschooling, never really getting any time off. He would go to church with the kids and I would consider it my time off, my recovery time.
While they were at church, I drank my coffee and contemplated my place in the universe and thought about what Faith really meant. It was nice. Soon the kids were enrolled in a class to get baptized and they came home talking about it and how much they enjoyed it. We would go over their projects together and it was special.
This whole going to church thing, and sticking with one religion was starting to find a nice little spot in my heart. And it felt good. My husband enjoyed it, and my kids enjoyed it, and it brought joy to our entire home.
I still wasn’t quick to drag myself out of the house on a Sunday morning to go sit in church with several young kids and have them climb all over me for an hour. One day, we were sitting in Church with Honey Nut, and she was fussy and crying. I was kicking myself for going with an infant who was going to cry. I wanted to cry. I felt like I was interrupting the service by being there, I felt like those around me were annoyed. I was filled with guilt. Why did I even bother, I wasn’t able to get anything out of it, and neither were those around me.
How did I find my Faith? Faith in God? Faith in One God?
As my kids grew, I began to grow.
Backing up again to see how we settled into our family as it moved from A growing family to A family who was growing up.
I was sitting on the exam table for Honey Nut’s prenatal early screening, and the ultrasound tech had one of those suddenly silent moments where they are trying to not let the lady on the table know there might be something wrong with her baby. I knew at that very moment that without a doubt, this baby was absolutely my very last one. After everything we had gone through with Owain, I knew that something was wrong, and I also knew my questions were going be unanswered. The tech leaves sharing of the dirty details up to the Doctor. I lay on the table thinking You have got to be freaking kidding me! I can not do this again!
By the time I left the appointment there was a 30 percent chance that there was some sort of birth defect. I tried to look at the 70% change that everything would be fine, but again, I was furious! It was another 2 months before we learned that our last little baby was going to be just fine, but they were the longest 2 months. And the entire time I had all sorts of conversations with myself while praying to whatever, where ever, or who ever I was pointing my faith to at the time. Either way, I knew then that there is no way that I, or my family could ever go through anything like that again. From that day forward, our family was officially growing up.
So as my youngest grew from a tiny crying infant, to a toddler, and became more distracted by toys, and was happy just to be in the arms of my husband or I, I became more comfortable going to church. That feeling of being an interference lessened, but still wasn’t enough to get me out the door every Sunday. It helped though, and knowing that my children were only going to get bigger, I also felt more comfortable knowing this was something I could continue to do when ever I wanted, or didn’t want.
My children were growing, and so was I.
And then my husband did one simple, amazing, beautiful thing that changed my life and the way I look at Faith and Religion forever. He gave me a little nudge that changed my path from Lack of Faith to Finding Faith.
The next part of this series “On Faith and Marriage” with be “Finding Faith”.